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Preparing to apply for custody as NRP (dad)

  • Progressor
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12 Oct 12 #360697 by Progressor
Topic started by Progressor
Hi, going through divorce, stbx has mental health issues (in denial) and has a history of self harm, attempted suicide, threatening to kill the kids, domestic violence to me and emotional and mental and verbal abuse to me, all infront of the kids. Rather than just getting a lot of contact with them (I current dont even have that, due to her bitterness) I cannot feel happy having them brought up by stbx. She herself is 3rd generation abuser and I fear my kids may absorb some of these traits over time.

Their ages are 3 through to 13. I am very close to all of them and am a loving, calm, active dad...active until 3 months ago when we separated.

Wife has been very bitter throughout, the process, denying me access for 3 months initially.

I am putting together a file of her behaviour and history with a view to this being used as supporting evidence to demonstrate that she is unfit to be a good mother.

I would prefer the kids have two active parents, and I do to a large extent provide a protective and calming influence to offset stbx''s behaviour. She has some history of hitting the kids, but mainly its the mental abuse that does the damage and that I am worried about. For instance, she has always conducted her abuse of me infront of them, and shows them her anger a lot, saying they should know that they make adults angry and should learn to deal with it. She draws them very close emotionally to her, and involves them in all her drama, outbursts, and basically treats them as extensions of her rather than little people who have their own rights to be protected even from the worst of their own parents behaviour.

I am thinking of self repping as current lawyers are worse than useless.

So what I would like advice on is how to go about applying for custody, how to build my case:

- Can I use the same application for increased contact, interim contact, and custody?
- do I need to inform stbx of my plans?
- I am writing down everything I recall, and it takes pages and pages, however there has been very limited contact with officialdom as I tried to keep our problems in house, and tried to solve them ourselves, so a lot of it is my statement of what happened - is this good enough?
- how should I structure it? I dont want it to seem like I am just bringing up our problems, but rather every incident is indicative of traits that make her an unfit mother, and want to highlight those traits backed up by substantial evidence of those traits...does that sound ok?

- her own parents were severe abusers, she told me all about it, can I refer to this as I think this indicative of cyclical and absorbed behaviour.
-stbx is on the surface charming, presentable, articulate and can easily fool casual observers that she is absolutely fine, however reference to the truth of her abuse tends to bring out her true personality in my experience. Can she continue this facade all the way through and fool the courts and CAFCAS etc?

- Do I realistically have any chance of a positive outcome?
- my stbx will come out with all kinds of lies and denial typical of abusers, I hope the courts have experience of this and will see through them...?

Any thoughts, questions, feedback will be most welcome.

Thank you for reading.

  • tinkerbell1606
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12 Oct 12 #360706 by tinkerbell1606
Reply from tinkerbell1606
The courts are not interested in your recollections of incidents never reported, you would be judged negatively for attempting to discredit your ex wife.
Unless there is documented evidence of these allegations I would be more than cautious of presenting this before a court.
Contact is the right of the child, not the parent, if your ex has not had any involvement from the authorities or concerns raised by school you will be seen to be acting maliciously.
Equally, denigrating the mother of your children will not help their emotional stability, it will only fan the flames.
If as you say you are concerned about the welfare of your children why have you not reported these concerns to social services for example?
It is very sad that you have not seen your children for 3 months and I don''t agree with witholding contact, have you thought about perhaps writing to them?
It is unlikely that your strategy will do anyone any good, the children are in her care and have been since you separated. The courts will support your contact application but generally will maintain the status quo with regard to primary residence.
I hope you get to see them soon, without the need to taint their relationship with their mum.
Keep the mudslinging between yourselves, judges see it all the time and are neither fooled or impressed with this kind of nonsense.

  • Forseti
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12 Oct 12 #360715 by Forseti
Reply from Forseti
It isn''t nonsense, Tinkerbell; concerns such as are raised here can cause immense and lasting damage to children. They should not be ignored.

Progressor, I have sent you a private message.

  • disneybunny
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12 Oct 12 #360716 by disneybunny
Reply from disneybunny
Unless you have medical proof she has mental health issues you are on a highway to nowhere. My ex told the court I have bi polor his evidence was he knows so done who has it so knows the symptoms. God help him lol.

While I wish you the best communication is the key to contact cases, mudslinging leads to war leads to court leads to war leads to pain all round.

  • Emma8485
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13 Oct 12 #360741 by Emma8485
Reply from Emma8485
Having supported my partner through a case where there are real welfare concerns I would agree with Forseti that this isnt nonsense.

However there is also the need for any allegations to be supported. Thats not to say there has to be agency involvement now, as there wasnt in my partners case, but the agencies became involved off the back of the information that he gave them. If there is evidence that the children are at risk of haarm then school, SS and other agencies where relevant will take those concerns seriously.

Having witnessed my partner being falsely accused of threatening abduction of his daughter, beating up his ex and being convicted of drink driving, all of which were disproved I would agree that mudslinging and false allegations should remain out of court. I also thinkt ehre should be punishments fro parents who make these things up paticularly where it results in needless intervention, delays due to full Cafcass reports and denial of contact - but I digress!

However I would support any parent who genuinely hand on heart has concerns about their childrens welfare to pursue those issues. I would be very wary of anything that cant be supported or proven, as this is where you can potentially be perceived as malicious, but if the things the OP has indicated above are truly an issue then other agencies will also be able to see these things and should act accrodingly.

I will say that having no contact for three months is something you need to look to put right as my partner had no contact for 6 months due to his exes refusal until the court made an order, and although this reflected badly on her in the Cafcass report, the officer still had to admit it would be difficult to transfer residence at that point because she hadnt seen her dad for such a long time.

In our case a shared residency order combined with a contaact order has been granted last week, and all agencies will remain involved for as long as needed.

Take care

  • mumtoboys
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13 Oct 12 #360762 by mumtoboys
Reply from mumtoboys
how are the children doing in school? has there been a change in their behaviour in school since you separated? are they still getting to school on time? homework done? have you spoken to the school recently? presumably if your presence in the family home was such a stabilising factor in the children''s lives, 3 months later people in regular contact with your children would be beginning to ask questions?

presumably if your ex has self-harmed and attempted suicide there is independent evidence of this? what support was put in place for her following her suicide attempt? did she take up the support or ignore it? is there independent evidence that she threatened to kill the children?

I think there is a fine line between coming across as someone trying to do the best by your children and someone who just wants to get one over on his ex. I struggle to see how, if your wife is as ill as you are suggesting, there hasn''t been external intervention at some point. Even with this evidence, your focus will need to be on how this negatively impacts on the children and if they are in school every day on time, seemingly happy, well fed, etc. etc. you may have a struggle to get anything other than a Contact Order.

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